Sway the Course?

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by ktmexc20, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. [​IMG]
    Texas' 31st district,
    close to both Austin and Waco,
    is home to Fort Hood

    About the Show
    [Streaming video for this program will be available online after broadcast] http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/244/index.html

    With less than a week to go before the election, it's clear no single issue will have more impact than the war in Iraq. This week NOW goes to one of the most pro-military districts in the country -- the Texas 31st -- to see how people deeply affected by our presence in Iraq might vote next Tuesday.

    This conservative district is home to Fort Hood, the largest active duty army base in America, and almost everyone living there has a personal connection to the war. Since the war began, Fort Hood has sent tens of thousands of young men and women to fight in Iraq.

    Despite the district's support for the military, Democrat Mary Beth Harrell, is trying to win a seat in Congress with a campaign strongly critical of President Bush's war policy. "The civilian leadership, this administration, this rubber stamp Congress, has failed our troops, and failed our community, and failed our country," Harrell told NOW.

    She is challenging the pro-war Republican incumbent, Congressman John Carter, who argues that the war is vital to protecting America from terrorists. Matt McAdoo, a 26-year-old libertarian candidate, is also in the running. He believes U.S. troops in Iraq should "pack up and leave."

    Can a platform that's strongly critical of the Administration's handling of the war take hold in this reddest of districts? "Everybody here has felt the pain of what's going on," Jerry Morris, a district resident and retired Army Major told NOW. "So I think people here are more willing to say, 'maybe we need to rethink what we're doing.'"

    A New York Times/CBS News poll conducted just days ahead of the election confirms this view. It showed that only 29 percent of Americans approve of the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war. The war was also considered the most important issue affecting their vote.

    The majority of those polled -- some 61 percent -- believe that the U.S. should change its strategy for fighting the war compared with only 8 percent who said the U.S. should continue its current approach. This week on NOW we ask: Is the war in Iraq changing the minds of even the most entrenched voters?